Guide to random number generators (RNGs)

Guide to random number generators (RNGs)

Oh Lady Luck, your form is so fleeting, yet haunting… all your lovely green zeros and ones that churn through the machine… wait, what? Oh yes, my friends, Lady Luck is no ethereal being who blesses your game with a peck on your cheek and a benevolent, but mischievous smile. No, she is the Matrix, numbers churning through the ether, randomly landing on that one… special… combination.

While gamblers of old may have relied on the vagaries of fortune to bestow riches upon them, the modern online casino gambler is more likely to experience a binary form of the Lady: computer code. With everything from slot games to video poker and even including some live dealer games functioning on the back of some serious technological architecture, the Random Number Generator rules this sphere of Luck’s elusive realm.

A casino is a casino is a casino, right? How different can one casino be from another? All they do is exchange money for chips, offer games, and then exchange chips for money.

Well, no. No story goes, “Once upon a time, everything was simple, everything was the same, and everyone was happy. The end.”

Every casino – both brick and mortar and online – is unique. Yes, there are similarities, both legislative and game based, but there’s no way to summarise all casinos with just a few simple sentences.

Luckily for you, we have taken the time and effort to really get into the foundations of online gambling: what makes it tick, how it works, what players can expect, and so much more. Here, we offer you all the in-depth guides to online casinos and gambling you’ll need. And we take that promise seriously, which is why we are constantly working to add more guides that cover every aspect of the online casino experience.

In this series of guides, you will find information about jackpots, variance and volatility, online casinos, casino bonuses, withdrawals and deposits, and more.

Why should you use guides?

Casino guides like these can really help enhance your online casino experience. For example, jackpot guides don’t just tell you what a jackpot is; they explain the various types of jackpot, how they work, how to play to win, where to find games with different jackpots, and even who the game developers are.

Casino bonus guides are another super useful way to figure out which online casinos will work best for you. We don’t only look at the types of bonus offered, but explain how they work, the hidden pitfalls to look out for, and ways to make the most of your wagering requirements.

You’ll find enough information here to keep you busy longer than a great game of poker, so dig in, and come out the other side a little more knowledgeable. And if there’s anything you’d like to learn more about that you don’t find here on CasinoPlay, let us know. Happy reading!

RNG stands for random number generator. Simple, right? But what does it mean in gaming terms? Each online casino game, whether it is Wazdan’s Great Book of Magic, Red Tiger’s Lord of the Wilds , or Fire Joker by Play’n GO, is, essentially, a complex computer program. The program’s structure includes an RNG, which is responsible for ‘deciding’ how the reels will spin and stop, or, in the case of live roulette, for example, where on the wheel the ball will land.

While many people believe RNGs are exclusive to slot games, this is not the case. They are present in all online and live casino games whose outcome hinges on electronics. Live dealer games like wheel of fortune, roulette and even some card games no longer use traditional game pieces, but instead use electronic wheels, cards and other components. In these cases, an RNG is sure to be part of the action.

The RNG is a continuous program that generates hundreds, thousands, even millions of random number sequences every second. During the game’s design phase, certain selected strings of numbers will be applied to different symbols, reels, paylines and other active parts of the game.

While you are playing the game, this RNG is working constantly in the background. In the microsecond that you click Spin, Play or whatever indicator starts the game, the number that is simultaneously generated by the RNG is fixed, and determines the outcome of that round.

Actually, it isn’t just online casinos. Many games in brick and mortar casinos also use RNGs, like slot machines, for example. Any game that determines the outcome electronically is likely to include an RNG.

RNGs are really the simplest and most foolproof way to keep casino games, both online and inhouse, secure and impervious to cheating. They remove the human element, as well as any other factors that could potentially influence the game’s outcome, and make it the purest form of chance possible. This serves multiple purposes:

  • The chance of a game being hacked or otherwise manipulated by dishonest players is minimised or even eliminated
  • The game is totally unbiased towards players, with the RNG ensuring anyone, at any time, regardless of their play style or duration, can win
  • It reduces the amount of things that can go wrong with more mechanical machines, like wear and tear, components that break, etc
  • It improves the game’s reliability and makes it easier to set a consistent volatility and variance, so that players know what they’re getting

Of course, the primary purpose of RNGs is to ensure security and fairness.

If you want to play a non-RNG slot game, you’re going to have a bit of trouble tracking down an old-school one-armed bandit from before RNGs started being used in brick and mortar casinos’ slot machines. However, even in the online casino space, there are some games that don’t use an RNG.

Many live dealer games online do still use physical cards for games like poker, blackjack or baccarat, for example. Some online casinos may even use a traditional wheel and ball for roulette. This is also more usually the case when you visit a casino; many of the table games are still run using traditional accessories.

However, unless you’re a devoted cards-only, live table game player, you’ll be hard pressed to steer totally clear of RNGs. Also, why would you want to? They make the games clearer, more predictable and fairer for everyone!

Online casino games are varied and unique, so there isn’t really any one strategy for beating the system. However, it pays to check out reviews of the game you want to play, as well as the game’s guide, to find out things like the variance and volatility, tips for playing, and how to play.

These games are available in just about every single online casino that offers video-based games… in other words, most of them. If you’re looking for a specific game to play, why not head over to our game reviews. Or you can peruse our in-depth online casino reviews in the hunt for your new favourite play platform.

Random Number Generators are a good thing. They make online gaming safer, more secure and, as a result, considerably more legitimate. This is an industry sometimes plagued by unscrupulous, illegal operators trying to scam you, and RNGs are just one way legitimate operators can keep both their business and their customers safe. We hope you get ‘lucky’ with an RNG before too long!